Family members and loved ones of senior drivers need to take steps to ensure that their elder family member has sufficient skills to drive. A failure to do so could result in liability on the elder or possible fiduciaries of the elder in the event of an accident. Most seniors are reluctant to surrender their driving privileges because of the loss of independence and autonomy coupled with increased reliance on others that comes with old age. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers information tailored to the needs of senior drivers.
While DMV has the sole authority to grant, suspend, and revoke driving privileges, certain states require that physicians report to the DMV those patients who have been diagnosed with conditions such as dementia, seizure disorder, stroke, et al. Psychologists are not permitted to report to the DMV without the client’s consent as such reporting would violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), but they may inform a family member and the client’s doctor. The family member could inform the DMV without violating HIPPA.
If you are concerned about potential liability for damage, injury or death caused by an elder driver with impaired ability to drive, contact a qualified attorney. The Evans Law Firm practices in the area of elder law.